With the nation still in the grips of the Great Depression, and war clouds hovering over Europe, a young Elyria heating engineer, R.W. Beckett, launched the company that still bears his name. The official date was Sept. 8, 1937, the day he wrote the person who would become his partner, saying, “Right now is the most opportune time I have ever had for (getting started).”
That business, begun in Beckett’s home on Ohio Street in Elyria, is now multiple businesses, with principal locations in North Ridgeville. Remarkably, the Center Ridge Road land on which the company built its current facilities in the early 50s was acquired by the visionary Beckett in the mid-30s, even before he formed the company. He knew one day he would own a business, and wanted a good piece of land while it was available!
Today, Beckett, with its affiliates, employs some 650 people. Its products range from oil and gas combustion products to air moving devices to electronic controls. R.W. Beckett’s CEO for the past nine years has been Kevin A. Beckett, grandson of the founder, and son of John D. Beckett, who succeeded his father as president on the founder’s death in 1965.
The company will mark its anniversary with a celebration for employees, customers and suppliers Sept. 20-22. Says John Beckett, “It is extremely gratifying to have reached this milestone, and even more so that the company has remained privately held and is led by a member of the Beckett family.”